Phillip Sandifer is a writer, recording artist and sometime music producer. He has recorded with such artists as Jennifer Warnes, Billy Crockett, Bob Bennett and Michele Wagner and written music for Glen Campbell, Fernando Ortega, Cheri Keaggy, Kim Hill, Michael James, Bob Bennett, Dawn Smith Jordan (Miss South Carolina) and others. He has participated on recordings distributed by EMI, Disney, BMG and Warner Music Group although most of his solo recordings have been released on Urgent Records, an independent label founded by Sandifer in 1984, and more recently on Wider Sky Music.
Phillip was born in Baltimore, MD but moved to Dallas, TX as a youth. He attended Highland Park High School (University Park, TX), Auburn University (Auburn, AL) and the University of Texas at Austin where he received a degree in History. He holds Masters degrees from Clemson University (Clemson, SC) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA) and recently completed a Doctoral degree from Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, MO). He has been married to Rene Burchard Sandifer since 1984. They have 4 children.
Some of Phillip's music career highlights include: having Roger Nichols (Steely Dan, John Denver, others) mix one of his recording projects ("Keeping The Dream Alive") and one of his best known songs ("When It's All Been Said & Done"), recording a duet ("In His Love") with Jennifer Warnes, writing a song ("Unto The Least of These") with one of his favorite writers (Bob Bennett) that was recorded by one of his favorite artists (Glen Campbell), recording one of his favorite songs ("Return To Pooh Corner") for a Disney Project and being the executive producer of Fernando Ortega's first nationally released recording ("In A Welcome Field").
Sandifer began his music career in 1981, when he created an independent album on a minimal budget. Since then, he has authored and performed six #1 songs (as noted in CCM Magazine and The Christian Research Report) in the Christian Music field. His top songs include "Just Because You Are" (#1), "When It's All Been Said And Done" (#1), "Learning To Love You" (#1), "The Less Traveled Road" (#1), "From A Broken Heart" (#1), "What You Mean To Me" (#1), "Man Of Compassion" (#1), "Arizona Highway" (#10) and "On My Way" (#11). He has produced twenty seven full-length albums for himself and others. Phillip and his brother Michael record as the group Santa Fe which achieved two top ten songs "Wider Sky" (#10) and "Love Speaks Louder" (#8) on their debut recording "Moon Circles". Sandifer acknowledges that while financial gain may elude those choosing the route of the independent label there is a great deal of satisfaction in creating largely on one's own terms. While not as visible as many artists, maintaining artistic control over his music has allowed for a lengthy career described as "constant" and music described as "consistent". His releases were originally distributed on Urgent Records through Sparrow Distribution (now known as EMI Christian Music) followed by Benson Distribution (now known as Provident-Integrity Distribution). His music is currently distributed by The Orchard (Sony Music Entertainment). In 1998 Phillip participated as a vocalist on Disney Records "A Bugs Life Sing Along" which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1999.
In 1999 Phillip withdrew from the music industry in order to focus on expanding Inspirational radio's reach in his hometown of Austin, Texas, finish his educational pursuits and spend more time at home with his family. In 2000 he joined a local church staff in order to participate in furthering the involvement of the contemporary arts in church settings. In 2004 he participated as a guest vocalist on his second Disney Recording - "Luv-A-Byes", recording the Kenny Loggins classic (and one of Phillip's favorites) "Return To Pooh Corner". Between 1999 and 2005 Phillip participated in launching 4 new radio stations broadcasting largely Inspirational programming in the Austin, TX area. In addition, he launched a local community radio station (KDRP-LP, aka K-Drip) to serve his local community of Dripping Springs,TX. KDRP plays an eclectic mix of music including Americana / Texana flavored music and involves many local personalities and now reaches into the city of Austin. Phillip credits the music of KDRP with reawakening his songwriting passion by reminding him of authenticity and real life subject matter of much of the Americana music genre.
In late 2011-12 Phillip resumed his writing and recording career releasing "Prone To Calamity". Cross Rhythm's Phil Thomson noted "This has to be one of the best self-produced albums I have come across in many years." The songs "Entangle Me" and "Wanting The Things That You Get" received international visibility. In 2013 Sandifer released "Simple Hymns", the first of what he says will be an ongoing offering of traditional hymns produced in his simplistic acoustic guitar based style. In the summer of 2013 Phillip produced a children's album released in the summer of 2014 entitled "It's Cool To Build A School". The album is a collaborative work with 10 other artists, session musicians and recording engineers to raise money for the Moore, OK Public School Foundation in the wake of the May 2013 tornado which devastated the town of Moore, OK. In July of 2014 Phillip released “Of Songs & Sacraments” a collection of 10 new songs focusing on the mystery that is the Eucharist (Communion) which was the topic of Phillip's recent Doctoral dissertation. Some reviews of this project can be found at: Cross Rhythms, Jesus Freak Hidehout, Music Morsels, Christian Music Makers. Recently Phillip's home town newspaper (The Park Cities People) caught it's readers up on what Phillip is doing these days. You can read the article here!
In 2015 Phillip released "Recently Played" a collection of 12 new songs to the Americana/Country Music market. His newest album "Go On" is set to release in the fall of 2017.